Saturday, October 12, 2013

Day 12 Who Is Invited?

Welcome to Day 12 of my month long celebration of Witches. This is my second post with words; save for the first post of this month, everything has been just pictures. Are you enjoying things so far? What do you think? I put a lot of work into this even if it doesn't seem like it. I'm still typing in May. See how long I've been planning? I still have November and December posts to write. If all this goes well, I may do similar things for other holidays. Remember, the whole reason I am writing so far ahead is twofold- good holiday posts while actually enjoying the holiday. I feel like I'm in a bit of a time-warp writing so many months ahead. On the one hand, I live my Witch life every day so I always feel inspired to write about Witches, spells, and magick. On the other hand, Halloween has its own charm- jack o' lanterns, ghosts, costumes, candy, monsters, and all the beauty of crisp fall days. I'm trying to stay away from a Halloween theme and just post about Witches in general because it's hard to worry about haunted places when scent of spring flowers fill the air. Much as I love fall, we also need the light half of the year. Everything can't reside in shadow all the time. Today I want to talk about a very shadowy subject. Ouija boards- spiritual tool, game, or demon summoning device?

Personally, I love Ouija boards. I really like hand crafted ones, but the store brought kind is cool too. The first time I remember seeing any reference to Ouija was in a bad made for tv movie. Some dingy mom pulled an old 'board game' out of the closet for her teenage daughter saying she could never make it work.  The daughter was charmed at first, used the board on a nightly basis, then strange stuff started to happen, and you know what comes next, right? Of course, lots of evil spirits, demons, and the devil himself.

So can bad things happen? Maybe. When I was about 16, a friend of mine had a Ouija board that had been her mom's in the 70's. She would let me 'play' with it, but she was insistent that both of us always use the board together. No one person should use the board alone. Her reasoning was a story she heard about a lady writing with one hand and using the board with the other hand. That night she was alone in bed and began to feel as if she was being raped. She tried to sit up, but unseen hands pushed her back to the bed and held her down. My friend was certain if two people used the board then nothing bad could happen. Safety in numbers, I guess. Looking back now, it seems dumb to me. We didn't cast a circle, do a protection spell, burn sage or incense, set out crystals, or ask for guidance from higher beings. We weren't protected at all.

So what did happen to us? Nothing really. While we got some interesting results, we also got a lot of useless information that didn't really make sense. I remember asking for a boy's phone number. I got a phone number, but it wasn't his. This annoyed my friend. She thought we should only ask for 'important' stuff like how her dead grandfather was doing on the other side. Well, you can't prove or disprove things like that, so I always wanted to know things that could be verified on this plane. We finally stopped using the board because we disagreed so much.

The mass-produced boards are marketed as games. You might be wondering what makes a Ouija board different from a magic 8 ball. That's a game too. My answer is- nothing. One Halloween I dressed up like a Gypsy. I decided to tell fortunes. I thought a Ouija board was too big to carry around, so I got an 8 ball. I went to several bars, two stores, a party, and a fast food restaurant. Lots of people, mostly strangers I had never met, asked me questions about their future. It didn't take long to figure out that cheap plastic ball was fairly accurate.

How could this be? I bought it at K-Mart. Was it me? Was I psychic? Maybe I am a little and using the ball helped me develop the ability. People would ask me questions. Suddenly I would feel a connection, a pull, something leading my mind in a certain direction, and I would blurt out things I had no way of knowing. I didn't know any of these people. I got asked if someone would stay in the army, if a person would marry again, about a promotion, a car, money, relocating to another state, and I had answers for everything. I just knew.

If it was me, then the ball itself shouldn't matter. But for some reason it did. I continued using the ball for about a week. A friend who had been with me that night often called me 'to check my ball'. It was working. Then the magic 8 ball started to leak. Dismayed, I immediately got another one. The second 8 ball didn't work. I had no connection with it. I threw that ball away.

Later, I made my own Ouija board. I spent a long time painting cardboard a lovely shade of royal blue. I carefully stenciled letters on. I added dragon stickers because I really like dragons. I had mixed results. Sometimes I would get vague references and only much later would things begin to click into place. Sometimes I got gibberish. I thought if I kept using my board it would eventually improve or increase in power but it remained in the same state of half answers.

Over the years, I've tried many methods of divination. I've used crystal balls, tarot, and pendulums. Some things I really connect with and they're great. Other stuff is just junk. Crystal balls usually work. But they're expensive. I had one beautiful ball on a wolf stand and I got nothing from it. I gave the ball to a young Witch. With tarot cards, the images really have to speak to me. If I don't like the art I get nothing in a reading. The pendulum is pretty good for me in that I can make one from almost anything and I can make a variety of charts- yes/no, direction, people's names, herbs, etc. The pendulum is the cheapest and easiest tool to make. But like the others, some of them don't work. I have greater success making pendulums with objects that mean something to me. I think I'd have good results with antique skeleton key that I found if the key really spoke to me, but I don't think I'd get good results if I took my house key off my key chain.

In all the years that I have been using divination, and I became a practicing Witch when I 21, that's 15 years ago, I have never encountered an evil spirit. I've never felt that my tarot cards drew anything evil. I think Ouija boards are just things that can be useful tools. I think people who have bad experiences with them probably go in with that mindset- they saw it on tv, it could happen, so it does. I think of a Ouija board kind of like an open bar at a wedding. The alcohol is free so people drink way more than they should and drunk people are rarely well behaved. It could be that lower spirits are easier to contact because they are already looking for a way in.

I think if you're going to use a Ouija board or anything else, then you should approach it in a positive way. I think you should be polite and cheerful. I think you should clearly state your intentions from the beginning. I think you should be firm about who or what you are contacting. And when it's over you should put everything away, clean up, and not dwell on it. And if anything bad happens you should be responsible and deal with it not just hope it goes away. If you don't like the idea of a board, or if you think it's creepy then don't use it.


Samantha Stephens said...

Do you think maybe you were born with the ability to 'read' people? Maybe you don't need any tools to kind of have a feel for what they will do? Then when you add the tool (crystal ball, Ouija board, etc.) it gives you a boost? Just curious, sometimes I can answer questions before someone asks causing someone who's just met me to be amazed. It just comes naturally - or maybe I'm listening to them and can just 'read' them, I don't know. I've never used crystal ball or Ouija board (played with one at a friend's house once and my parents got all excited that I was 'inviting the devil in' - nothing happened). Now you've made me curious to try one 'for real.' And, yes, I'm enjoying your series - thanks for the hard work.

FreeDragon said...

Sorry it took me a few days to answer- weekends have become the time when I run all over the world and never check my email o_O

I am empathic, I actually feel other people's emotions as if they were my own, so probably tools do give me a boost. However, I don't seem as able to know things without tarot cards. It could be that I spend so much time shutting off the emotions that I can no longer easily let things filter in.